Little League World Series 2021: Updated US Bracket and ScheduleAugust 27, 2021
A wild, unpredictable 2021 Little League World Series is down to four teams vying for the most coveted prize in their sport, with play resuming Saturday.
Michigan shockingly dismantled Texas, scoring 15 runs to advance to the semifinal round of competition. Ohio fended off California, South Dakota rode the superb pitching of Gavin Weir to the round of four, and Hawaii has proved the class of the tournament throughout.
The journey has been long and arduous, hampered by COVID-19 protocols and weather, but the end is finally in sight. By Sunday afternoon, one team will forever etch their names in the history books, its legacy preserved in immortality.
Bracket and TV Schedule
Saturday, August 28
Tom Seaver Final: Ohio vs. South Dakota, 12:30 p.m., ABC
Hank Aaron Final: Michigan vs. Hawaii, 3:30 p.m., ABC
Sunday, August 29
Consolation Game: TBD vs. TBD, 10 a.m., ESPN
Championship Game: TBD vs. TBD, 3 p.m., ABC
Michigan vs. Hawaii
Hawaii has been the best team in this tournament since day one. It obliterated Connecticut and Nebraska by a combined score of 20-4, putting up runs and snuffing out the opposition's offense for the most part. Its toughest game to date was a 2-0 victory over Michigan.
The same Michigan team answered that defeat with a shellacking of Texas and appears to have momentum on its side heading into the high stakes semifinal round.
Seemingly unfazed by an early strikeout against Texas, Michigan star Cameron Thorning led a hitting bonanza, 11 in all for a total of 15 runs scored. The offensive onslaught was impressive and sent a message loudly and clearly to the competition that the Taylor North-based team should not be taken lightly, but the defense still remains a question mark.
Texas rallied off six runs to stay somewhat in the game. If Michigan allows a potent Hawaii offense to do the same, it will find itself playing in Sunday's consolation play instead of competing for a championship.
Still, there is something to be said about teams with the best players and momentum on their side. Michigan has both, and Thorning's incredible play late in this tournament may prove the difference.
Ohio vs. South Dakota
Ohio was never supposed to make it this far in the tournament. The underdog throughout, it is now just two wins away from hoisting the trophy in what would be one of the bigger upsets in recent LLWS history.
To do so, they have to get past South Dakota's Gavin Weir, the hottest pitcher in the game who is fresh off a no-hitter against California.
Weir has been lights out, allowing just one hit in his last seven starts and recording 100 strikeouts on 526 pitches. South Dakota's defensive play has been stifling, too. The team has not allowed a single run in this LLWS and doesn't plan on starting with Ohio on Saturday.
Everyone loves a good underdog story, but the unexpected run of the team from Hamilton's West Side Little League will see its aspirations crushed by a South Dakota squad just two defensively oppressive.
Prediction: South Dakota